Lionel Messi set to miss Ecuador clash

Lionel Messi set to miss Ecuador clash

'La Pulga' will be rested for Argentina's upcoming World Cup qualifier.

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  • Last Updated: June 9, 2009, 3:42 PM IST
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New Delhi: Diego Maradona, the coach of the Argentine national team, will make a number of changes to his side for the crucial World Cup qualifier with Ecuador in Quito on Wednesday.

The biggest absence will be that of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. With one more yellow card Messi will miss the clash with Brazil in September and Maradona won't be willing to risk him.

However, Messi is expected to enter the field in the second half, if Argentina are struggling that is.

Another absentee will be Javier Mascherano. The Liverpool midfielder is suspended for the match after picking up a yellow card against Colombia. Gabriel Heinze will also not be available for selection.

A tactical change will see Javier Zanetti play at right back, while Emiliano Papa will be in charge of the left side of defence.

One player who is likely to make his official debut for Los Albicelestes is Christian "Chaco" Gimenez. The Pachuca attacker will form part of the Argentina midfield alongside another new addition, Sebastian Battaglia.

It has yet to be decided whether Gonzalo Bergessio, Diego Milito or Lisandro Lopez will partner Carlos Tevez in attack.

Meanwhile, Maradona could include Daniel Montenegro in his starting XI. Montenegro, the leading scorer of the Argentine Clausura Championship, could play a deeper attacking role.

Argentina will travel to Quito on Tuesday afternoon to confront the match with Ecuador on Wednesday.

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